Writing for Business
ENG 116 Class Schedule
Course Description: English 116 is an intensive study of
the style and techniques required in the preparation of business documents
including correspondence and short reports.
Objectives: For successful completion of the course, a
student is expected to do the following:
Textbooks: Bartel, Karen. American Business
Understand the importance of written communication in the interchange
of facts and ideas within and between business organizations;
Use effective sentence and paragraph structure and good business organization;
Produce audience-oriented letters, memoranda, and other forms of written
communication used in business situations;
Develop written communication that reflects a sensitivity to sentence variety
and an awareness of diction and usage;
Use word processing to complete all assignments;
Compile a final portfolio of written work for evaluation.
Pearlman, D. Guide to Rapid Revision, 6th edition
Course Requirements: You are expected to:
Attend class prepared to discuss the readings and to take any grammar quizzes
Bring to every class meeting a 3.5" DS, HD floppy diskette;
Prepare all written work by word processing on 8 1/2 by 11 inch white paper
with margins. Pages must be numbered and stapled together.
All late work (any paper not handed in on the due date) will be judged
No paper will be accepted more than one class period after due date;
No late final portfolios will be accepted.
Attendance: You are expected to attend all class meetings.
Whenever possible, any class work missed because of absence must be made
up. If you are absent for as many as three class meetings,
your grade is subject to being lowered unless you have consulted in advance
with the instructor. You may withdraw from the course without grade
penalty before March 25. After this date, is you are absent
for two or more class meetings and have not notified the instructor to
withdraw you from the course, you will receive a grade of "F."
Grading: Imagine that this were not a course in school
but just a group of people who freely decided to work on writing.
We would have a workshop. No official grading, just writing and feedback.
Even though I must give you an official grade at the end of the course,
I will try to approximate those workshop conditions in this course by means
of a portfolio of writing.
Therefore, instead of putting a grade on every paper, I will use a kind
of "contract" grading system. The following requirements guarantee
you a B for your final grade:
An A grade in the course means you have met the B
requirements more fully.
meet course requirements on lateness and attendance
hand in assignments on time with all drafts attached
carefully copy-edit all written assignments (free from almost all mistakes
in spelling and grammar)
type all drafts except first rough draft
show two crucial ingredients for all assignments --effort and thinking
revise each written assignment at least once
give good feedback to others in class--be supportive yet thoughtful
participate in a group project including the oral presentation
turn in a final portfolio on time
Documents will be judged on professional appearance and grammatical
accuracy as well as on content.
To pass the course you must turn in a midterm and final portfolio.
Final Project 20%
What is Portfolio Assessment?
Portfolio assessment is a method of evaluating student writing based
on a collection of writings selected by the student to represent his or
her best work. In this course, you will be asked to develop a portfolio
consisting of several documents written and revised during the semester.
For each writing you select you will write a preface showing how the work
developed over time. You also will be asked to write a cover letter
describing and evaluating the portfolio from your point of view.
How is the Portfolio Assessed?
Your writing will not be officially graded until the end of the course.
However, I will offer as much commenting on your documents as needed, reviewing
no more than two revisions of any paper. At the end of the semester,
you will prepare a portfolio according to stated guidelines for a final
grade on your writing. Your final grade for the course will be based
on the portfolio evaluation plus other relevant factors such as attendance,
class participation, work handed in on time, and your final project.
For your final portfolio to be considered acceptable, each document
must show the following:
Each document must also be carefully edited to avoid serious or persistent
errors in grammar (run-on sentences, fragments, unclear references, lack
of agreement, or inconsistent verb tenses), as well as errors in mechanics
a clear purpose
an organization that is easy to follow
sufficient detail to develop and support the ideas
a tone, style, and vocabulary appropriate to the audience
What Does the Portfolio Contain?
The final portfolio should include:
How is the Portfolio Presented?
one letter with preface
one memo with preface
two assignments of your choice with prefaces (taken from the four short
reflective letter in which you discuss in letter format why you chose the
assignments and any other information you choose to tell the Instructor
about your writing for the semester.
Your portfolio must be presented using the following standards:
Team Projects: Team projects offer practice in collaborative
writing, a frequent arrangement in the workplace, especially for reports
and proposals. Team members face many challenges, including assigning
and completing tasks, making timetables, meeting deadlines, organizing
data from various sources, achieving a uniform and appropriate style in
a team-written document, evaluating and being evaluated by peers, learning
to manage a project. In short, you learn the meaning of working together
toward a goal.
Submit all papers and the cover letter in a standard manila file folder
with your name written on the tab at the top
Type all drafts on unlined 8.5 x 11 inch paper and staple in the top left
Format all final drafts and the cover letter as follows:
one-inch margins top, bottom, left, right
no gaps in the middle of the page
name, date and social security number on top corner of the first page with
title centered underneath
Attach all rough drafts, notes, comments, reader responses and assignment
sheets to the final draft in chronological order (earliest draft at the
Team projects also confront students with interpersonal problems that
invariably crop up during any group effort; achieving consensus, overcoming
personality differences, dealing with poorly motivated or domineering colleagues,
and achieving fair distribution of labor. Therefore, you learn how
to get along to get the job done.
Working on a team enables weaker writers to benefit from working with
stronger writers in planning, researching, drafting, and revising a document.
Such projects enable team members to accomplish a broader range of tasks
than could be done individually. Team projects depends on the motivation
of the group.
Note: If you have a disability of which I need to
be aware (for classroom and/or testing accommodations), please meet with
me privately to discuss it.
Last revised: January 15, 2009